Tester Brings Air Force Secretary to Great Falls to Visit Malmstrom Air Force Base, 120th Airlift Wing

Senator, top Defense official held roundtable discussion with servicemembers, toured base to assess readiness capabilities

In his capacity as the Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, U.S. Senator Jon Tester today brought Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall and top Air Force leadership to Malmstrom Air Force Base and the Montana Air National Guard’s 120th Airlift Wing to meet directly with servicemembers, discuss DOD’s response to incidents of rare cancers among missileers, assess readiness capabilities as Congress works on next year’s military budget, and receive updates on Malmstrom’s response to the Chinese spy balloon.

“Keeping Montanans safe is my top priority, and that means making sure our armed forces have the resources they need to address evolving threats and protect our state and country,” said Tester. “That’s why I was honored to host Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall at Malmstrom Air Force Base to see Montana’s critical defense installations firsthand and to meet directly with the men and women in uniform who serve here. As Chairman of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, I’ll be taking this feedback back with me to Washington to continue fighting to get our servicemembers and their families all the tools and resources they need to keep defending our freedoms.”

During his visit to Malmstrom, Tester hosted Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall, who is responsible for organizing, training, and equipping the U.S. Air and Space Forces. In this capacity, Secretary Kendall directs the Department of the Air Force’s annual budget exceeding $173 billion, provides Air and Space forces to combatant commanders for global military operations, and is accountable for the welfare of nearly 700,000 active duty, Guard, Reserve, and civilian Airmen and Guardians and their families.

In addition to Secretary Kendall, Tester also hosted Major General Michael Lutton, Commander of the 20th Air Force; Lieutenant General Robert Miller: Surgeon General, U.S. Air Force, and the Surgeon General, U.S. Space Force; Major General Duke Pirak: Deputy Director, Air National Guard; and Major General John “Pete” Hronek, Adjutant General for the State of Montana, Commander of the Montana National Guard.

As the Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, Tester is responsible for crafting the annual Senate Defense Appropriations Bill which funds the entire Department of Defense – including the entire Air Force and operations at Malmstrom Air Force Base.